Twin Citians: remember the Hungry Mind Bookstore? How about Baxter's Books? Gringolet? Odegaard's? Perine's? Savran's? Ruminator? Even the name Shinder's brings a tear to some eyes, I guarantee (mine included)! The book departments at Powers and Dayton's were meccas at one time. None of these stores exist anymore.
The Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver still has two locations from which to serve customers. What a luxury!! The original store moved several years ago to an address on Colfax Avenue. But our destination last week was in the Loop: the LoDo store across the street from Union Station. There aren't many bookselling venues left anymore that are quite as exotic.
There's a full Children's Department on the first floor as well as a cafe. There's a large event space on the second floor which is booked for most every night of the next month. Joyce Meskis and her staff received an Award of Merit in 1998 for Design from the Western Region of the American Institute of Architects for renovating this great facility. The LoDo store originally was the C. S. Corey Mercantile Building.
The Twin Cities still have a number of excellent independent booksellers, but the critical mass that existed in the last decade of the 20th Century is non-existent and won't ever come back. We're grateful for Wild Rumpus and Majers and Quinn in Minneapolis, and Common Good Books, Micawbers, and the Red Balloon in St. Paul. But the loss of those stores mentioned at the top is worse than sad, it's a tragic cultural loss for our state.